Saturday, January 11, 2003

More media disinformation, perpetuating the myth that life is better behind bars than free. Contrary to the zookeeper's assertion, primatologist Jane Goodall and others have documented cases of even unrelated chimpanzees caring for weaker members of the group.

ZOO DEALS WITH AGING INMATES

As its animal population ages, KC Zoo is losing some old friends
By MATT CAMPBELL The Kansas City Star

The December holidays were a bleak time at the Kansas City Zoo, which reported the demise of a valued orangutan and two California sea lions.

All died because of old age. Two were euthanized to end their pain, and the third entered its death throes just as she was about to be euthanized....

Jimmie the chimpanzee is 37 years old -- pushing the outer range of a captive chimp's life span. He is the patriarch of Kansas City's chimp troop, but he has heart disease. Jimmie nearly died twice after collapsing and turning blue during screaming matches with other males.

For three years zookeepers have been giving Jimmie heart medicine, aspirin and a mood relaxant. In the wild he would be expelled from the troop and left to die.

"Here he has the luxury of retirement, per se, and still has social interactions with the rest of the group," Suedmeyer said....